Car's transmission is shown.

How to Care for a Nissan Xtronic CVT

If you’e between in the market for a new Nissan in the last decade, you’e undoubtedly heard salespeople speak enthusiastically about the irtues of the Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission, or CVT for short. A common theme across the board for CVT drivers is exactly what you’d expect it to be: How to care for a Nissan Xtronic CVT? It’s a question that requires a bit of deep-diing, so before we get into the care specifics, let’s first get some background.

What is a CVT?

Nissan first began exploring the possibility of trending away from a standard automatic transmission in 2002, eventually becoming the first global auto manufacturer to rely on CVTs in passenger cars. In the 13 years since, CVTs have become the transmission de rigueur for drivers across the automotie marketplace, and in Nissan models in particular. The reasons for its popularity are relatiely simple. The CVT proides “stepless” ratio changes between gears, making shifting far smoother — so smooth, in fact, that drivers often don’t know that they’re changing gears at all. A CVT is also built using fewer parts than a traditional, fixed-gear automatic, so they are cheaper to manufacture than your regular fie-speed. Factor in the across-the-board higher fuel economy for CVTs, a result of less friction and less extreme reing, and it’s pretty clear why they’e made such gains in popularity and proliferation in recent years. Read More: Experience the CVT in the 2016 Maxima SR Midnight Edition

How to care for your CVT?

Since we’re relatiely early in the process of the eventual, industry-wide CVT takeoer (It’s coming!), there are still kinks to be ironed out. Many of these relate to the long-term reliability of the transmission themselves, while certain differences between CVTs and standard automatics make them require more care during the ownership process. Let’s tackle the transmission fluid question first, since it generally is the first thing people ask about. Yes, there are aftermarket and non-Nissan CVT fluids out there, and no, you shouldn’t use them. As with all Nissan parts and practices, Nissan’s CVT fluid is enginevered to the exact specifications of the Xtronic design, and certain standards — temperatures, fill levels, etc. — aren’t uniform for other manufacturers. Read More: Do you need to use Premium Fuel? The most common problem related to CVTs, however, relates to their oerheating. Driers will regularly oerfill their CVTs with fluid, under the mistaken assumption that more equals better. It doesn’t, and fluid should only be filled to the cross-hatch marks, or roughly three-quarters full on the reseroir. An easy way to protect against oerheating is to bring your Nissan CVT to a certified Nissan service department and check your freeze protection. This helps to ensure that your settings are all in order, and that your CVT won’t whine or go into fail-safe mode if the specifications aren’t just so. The good news in all of this is that Nissan has gradually ironed out all the kinks to the point where the dependability is among the finest on the automotie landscape.